Pain Mountain is the stunning and newly classic novel from one of America’s true masters of the form.
Merganthaler’s new novel portrays a fortunate American’s rise and fall — a strong, confident master of social equilibrium overwhelmed by the forces of social disorder. Jonathon Robinson – a legendary high school athlete, a devoted family man, a hard worker, the prosperous inheritor of his father’s New York factory – comes of age in thriving, triumphant postwar America. But everything he loves is lost when the country begins to run amok in the turbulent 1960s. Not even the most private, well-intentioned citizen, it seems, gets to sidestep the sweep of history.
With remarkable compassion and vigorous realism, Merganthaler takes us back to the conflicts and violent transitions of the 1960s and shows the threads of these conflicts still continuing into the new century. This is a book about loving – and hating – America. It’s a book about wanting to belong – and refusing to belong – to contemporary America.